Solace Saturday

Before getting to football, like many of you, I am watching the events unfold in Haiti. I cannot look at the screen, yet I cannot turn it off either.

I watched Joe Biden speak this morning. I have been very critical of him, but this time he really struck the right tone. He called the tragedy “unimaginable.” He then pointed out that politicians often resort to hyperbole to describe various situations, but this one really is unimaginable.

One thing I will say about Joe Biden is that when he speaks about human suffering, he is speaking from the heart. He has had more pain than most of us will ever know, losing his first wife and child in a car accident 30 years ago.

He pointed out that Haiti has only one airport, which creates a bottleneck in terms of getting supplies to Haiti in a timely manner.

He also said that the first goal of everyone is just to stay alive.

I have the luxury of saying that I do not want to talk about this any more. The Haitians do not have that luxury. I just want to escape today. Maybe that makes me insensitive, or maybe it just makes me human. Either way I am going to enjoy escapism and seek solace this weekend by watching football. That is what I did after 9/11 and Katrina.

The National Football League donated 2.5 million dollars to the relief effort. As always, the NFL has come through quickly and nobly.

As for me, here are my NFL predictions.

Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints

The Saints did lose 3 straight to end the season, but the Cardinals got carved up on defense last week despite winning. If this game turns into a track meet between Drew Brees and Kurt Warner, give the Saints the edge at home. Saints win

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts–The Ravens played the Colts tough earlier this year in Baltimore, but on the carpet the Colts have the advantage at home. The Ravens benefited from turnovers and starting field position from the opposing red zone. Not this time.  Peyton Manning will throw with abandon. Colts win

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings–The Cowboys looked very solid in back to back wins over Philly, and are the trendy pick to run the table now. Minnesota is unbeaten at home this year, and they will stay this way. Tony Romo has played well, but Brett Favre is on a mission. The key to this game is not Favre or Adrian Peterson, but Percy Harvin. He is a field position game breaker, and should be the difference. Vikings win

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers–The Jets are a great feel good story, and they are a Buddy Ryan team in every sense of the word under his son Rex. Hard running and defense often works, but the San Diego offense under Phillip Rivers should provide an aerial assault. The Jets are building something special for the long haul under Mark Sanchez, but they have reached their limit this year. Chargers win

Yes, I took all the home teams and the top seeds. I know that takes no skill. Those are my opinions.

Before the year started, I had the Cowboys at the Vikings in the NFC Title Game. They are playing one week early, but I got it right for the most part. The Vikings were the # 2 seed, and the Cowboys did beat up New Orleans.

The AFC had me picking the Titans and the Patriots. When the playoffs started I still felt New England could do some damage. Ok, so the AFC was not even close for me.

Often wrong, but never in doubt.

Now to enjoy some solace, thankful that I can.


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